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Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality

A popular Kashmiri Muslim traditional multi-course Wazwan has a prominent place in the Kashmiri Heritage. Its preparation is regarded as an art. Festivities celebrated with dishes made just with lentils and pulses are not considered auspicious. Wazwan is  meat based dish where lamb, fish or chicken is the preferred meat. Beef does not figure too much in Wazwan preparations especially in Srinagar, whereas it is quite popular in other districts. A traditional serving of Wazwan has thirty six courses, although one can serve only few. The responsibility of preparing the courses lies mainly with the head chef known as Vasta Waza who is assisted by other chefs or Court of Wazas.

For the Kashmiri Muslims, preparation of Wazwan is at the heart of their identity and culture. Just as the preparation, serving also is dictated by certain norms of hospitality. A group of four guests are seated together and a ritual cleansing of hands marks the beginning of serving the courses. The Tash-t-Nari, a jug and basin used for washing hands are passed among the guests.

A big helping of rice is served on a large common plate, along with four seekh kababs, barbecued ribs, one safed kokur and zafrani kokur, two tabal maaz, four pieces of meth maaz, daniwal korma, Aab gosht, marchawangan korma and many other dishes. Accompaniments such as aloo bukhaar, pickles, dips and yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron are also served. It is prepared mostly in weddings and important festivals. The art is a closely guarded legacy passed down through heredity. Prominent ‘Waza’ cook families have their own distinct identity in taste and flavours and are in great demand during the wedding months May to October.


A Kashmiri banquet feast is the thirty-six course Wazwan. Of these close to fifteen to thirty are meat based and prepared by the head chef overnight.

Preparing and serving Wazwan is a ritualistic ceremony. Guests are welcomed and seated on comfortable cushions in a group of four. The meal begins by offering grace to Allah and followed by cleansing of hands in Tash-t-nari assisted by attendants. Trami, large engraved metal plates layered with rice, four seekh kababs and four pieces of dried fenugreek leaves flavoured methi korma along with one safed murg cooked in white sauce and one saffron sauce based zafrani murg, one tabak maaz and a few more from the main course are served to the guests. Accompaniments like chutney and yogurt are served in separate bowls.

New trami laden with different courses is served till the last one. Some other dishes from the Wazwan course includes the popular gushtaba (meatballs simmered in spicy yoghurt gravy), daniwal korma (roasted lamb in marinate of spiced yoghurt and onion puree, topped with chopped cilantro leaves), tabakh maaz, marchwangan korma (cooked in a spiced browned onion sauce), rogan gosh and aab gosht (lamb chunks cooked in partially evaporated milk and fennel-cardamom spices mixture) and much more. The last meal to be served is the Gushtaba. The course also includes an assortment of chutneys and a sweet dish Phirni, a milk pudding. With more dishes served, the Wazwan has almost become a 40 course spread.

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Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality
Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality
Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality
Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality
Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality
Wazwan Kashmiri Speciality

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